Ann O Loughlin THE director of the National Museum told Environment Minister Dick Roche the Hill of Tara deserved the fullest archaeological protection.
In a letter to the minister last year Dr Pat Wallace said he believed Tara "and the complex or association of monuments and scared spaces in its surroundings to be the most important of their type in Ireland, if not in Europe. Taken together, this group of monuments constitute an archaeological and cultural landscape which deserves the fullest and most generous archaeological protection," Dr Wallace wrote.
The letter was referred to in the High Court in the fourth day of environmentalist Vincent Salafia's challenge to the proposed routing of the M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara.
Mr Salafia, of Dodder Vale, Churchtown, Dublin, claims the directions of the Minister for the Environment, Mr Dick Roche, of May 2005 regarding the treatment of the sites are unlawful because they failed to address the issue of whether the sites were a national monument which required preservation.
Mr Salafia is also contending provisions of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 are unconstitutional.
The case continues.